P-EBT card FAQs (2021)

What is P-EBT?

All families with students enrolled at Marion Community Schools (K-12) at the end of the 2020-21 school year will receive funds through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program.

This Summer P-EBT benefit gives families with school children an EBT card to purchase food, an extension of the the National School Lunch Program. There have been several rounds of these funds provided by the federal government, some dependent on whether students were enrolled in online education (including e-learning Fridays). Payments being received currently are from the January through March period. The April and May benefit is set to be sent out in July, along with the summer round, which is going to all MCS students who just completed grades K-12 and will be in addition to any funds received in earlier rounds. 

Because Marion Community Schools is a Community Eligibility district through the USDA's National School Lunch Program, EVERY student at MCS is eligible for free school meals during the school year, with no application needed. Therefore, as part of the P-EBT program, you will receive this benefit.

How much money will I receive?

For the January through March period of funding (payments for which are being sent out now, in May) the amounts vary depending on how many days a student was enrolled in online education, including e-learning Fridays at MCS. The April-May benefit (which will again vary depending on an individual student's number of online learning days) is set to be sent out in July, along with the Summer P-EBT benefit, for which Marion Community Schools families will receive $375 for each child enrolled in grades K-12 at MCS at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

Do I have to apply?

There is no application process to receive P-EBT.

How will I receive these funds?

If you have previously received a P-EBT card, the Summer P-EBT benefit will be loaded to that card for each eligible child.

For students who have not previously received any type of P-EBT, a new P-EBT card will be issued. You will receive this card in the mail with information on how to activate the card and use the benefits. 

UPDATE: If you have lost your card, click here to request a new one

Additional tips based on some common problems we have heard of:

  • Please pay particular attention to the code you will need when asked for your student's Social Security number. You will not actually use the Social Security number. You will use the code given instead.
  • If you still have trouble activating the card, please check to see what birth date is on file at Marion Community Schools for the student whose name is on the card. It is possible if MCS had the wrong birthdate that you will need to use that incorrect birthdate, as that is the information these P-EBT cards is based on. (And if you do find that we have the wrong birthdate for your student, please also email the correct birthdate to support@marion.k12.in.us, so we can get your record with us corrected!)

Who can use these benefits?

These benefits are for your family and are non-transferable, but the student whose name is on the card does not need to be present when you make eligible purchases with the card. No ID is required to be able to use this card.

What can I buy with P-EBT funds?

P-EBT benefits have the same uses and restrictions as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The benefits can be used only for eligible food purchases. For more information click here: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligiblefood-items.

Funds can be kept without activity for 6 months. After that time benefits may be expunged.